Research shows that cannabidiol (CBD) could potentially help with weight loss. However, further research is needed to confirm this.

Cannabidiol — better known as CBD — is a widely popular compound derived from the cannabis plant.

Although typically available as an oil-based extract, CBD also comes in lozenges, sprays, topical creams, and other forms.

CBD may have a number of benefits, possibly:

  • reducing anxiety
  • acting as a natural pain reliever
  • improving heart and brain health

However, little is known about the effects of CBD on weight loss. This article explores the current research on weight loss and CBD.

CBD is one of over 100 compounds, known as cannabinoids, found in cannabis.

It’s the second most abundant cannabinoid after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and composes up to 40% of the plant’s extract.

Unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive effects, meaning that it does not cause a “high.”

However, CBD affects your body in other ways. It’s thought to stimulate certain receptors to reduce pain, anxiety, and inflammation.

It stops the breakdown of anandamide — a chemical often referred to as the “bliss molecule” — in your brain. This allows anandamide to stay in your system longer, helping relieve pain and boost brain function.

CBD may also regulate the production of inflammatory molecules called cytokines, thereby reducing inflammation and pain.

What’s more, CBD may also help treat symptoms of depression.

However, because human research is currently limited, the full effects of CBD on health are still unknown.


CBD is a cannabis compound that’s believed to have health benefits like pain relief and reducing inflammation. But research is ongoing. CBD’s full effects are still unknown.

CBD has been considered as a possible option for improving weight loss. A few of its potential effects are detailed below.

CBD may boost metabolism and reduce food intake

Preliminary research suggests that CBD may reduce food intake and boost metabolism, which could promote weight loss.

For example, animal research from 2017 suggests that CBD affects weight by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors in lymphoid tissue and the brain. These receptors are thought to play important roles in metabolism and food intake.

In this 2-week study, rats were injected daily with CBD at doses of 1.1 and 2.3 milligrams (mg) per pound of body weight (2.5 and 5 mg per kg). Both doses produced significant reductions in body weight, with the higher dose having the most noticeable effect.

It’s important to note that the CBD was injected, not given orally.

While such results are promising, not enough human research supports these findings. More research is needed.

CBD may promote ‘browning’ of fat cells

Two types of fat — white and brown — exist in your body.

White fat is the predominant form responsible for storing and supplying energy while insulating and cushioning your organs.

It’s also the type of fat most associated with chronic illnesses — such as diabetes and heart disease — when accumulated in excess.

On the other hand, brown fat is responsible for generating heat by burning calories. People with a healthy weight for their bodies tend to have more brown fat than people who are overweight.

You can convert white fat to brown by exercising, getting adequate sleep, and exposing yourself to cold temperatures.

Interestingly, research shows that CBD may aid this process.

A 2016 study found that CBD led to “browning” in white fat cells and enhanced the expression of specific genes and proteins that promote brown fat.

However, this study was done in test tubes, not humans. Human research will need to confirm these effects.

CBD may be associated with lower body weight

Although cannabis use is commonly associated with increased food intake, people who use cannabis products tend to weigh less than those who don’t.

For example, 2019 research suggests there may be a link between cannabis use and lower body mass index (BMI). However, more research is needed to confirm this result.

CBD, being in cannabis, is likely involved in this relationship — although it’s unclear how.

In a 2022 review of research, researchers found that most studies showed that CBD may help body weight. However, there were some exceptions to these findings.


CBD may promote weight loss by reducing appetite, boosting metabolism, and encouraging the “browning” of fat cells. However, research is currently limited in humans.

While it’s unclear whether CBD oil is effective for weight loss, it has been shown to improve health in other ways. It’s also relatively safe, with little risk of side effects.

More research — especially in humans — is needed to determine how CBD affects weight. The findings that exist are relatively weak and inconsistent.

Therefore, CBD oil is not recommended as an effective way to lose weight.

It’s best to try other weight loss tips instead, especially because CBD products can be expensive.


Due to a lack of evidence, CBD oil cannot be recommended as an effective supplement for weight loss.

Does CBD cause loss of appetite?

A 2022 review of studies found that 10 out of 11 studies suggest that CBD may help reduce appetite. More research is still needed to confirm this.

Is weight gain a side effect of CBD?

Although CBD may reduce appetite to some degree, it has also been shown to increase appetite in at least one study.

Another recent review of 2,409 people who use CBD also found that 6.35% experienced increased hunger as a side effect. A 2015 study also suggests this possibility. If this is the case, it’s possible that overeating would then lead to weight gain.

CBD oil is an increasingly popular cannabis product that’s often marketed for weight loss.

However, current research does not show a clear effect on weight.

Though some studies suggest that CBD may boost metabolism while reducing body fat and appetite, others show an increase in appetite. Most research has also been done on cells or animals, not humans.

Until more research is completed, it’s best to rely on other, more evidence-based methods — such as dietary and lifestyle changes — to lose weight.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.